HA NOI — Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh yesterday met with UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Jeremy Browne, both noting the growth of bilateral relations as part of the Strategic Partnership Agreement.
They pledged to further boost co-operation in economy, trade and investment with a target of bilateral turnover and UK FDI to Viet Nam to reach US$4 billion and $3 billion by 2013 respectively.
In order to further enhance their bilateral strategic partnership, the two sides agreed to mark the 40 years of their diplomatic relations in 2013 with appropriate celebrations. In this context, Minh reiterated Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's invitation to Prime Minister David Cameron to make an official visit to Viet Nam in 2013.
The UK would consider Viet Nam's candidacy for membership in the UN Human Rights Council from 2014-2016 and will continue to co-operate further with the country on the subject. The UK also underlined its commitment to support Viet Nam in good governance, education, and in the fight against corruption.
Earlier yesterday, Browne and Foreign Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Son conducted the 2nd UK-Viet Nam Strategic Dialogue in Ha Noi as part of the 2012 Strategic Partnership Agreement and Action Plan between the two nations.
The dialogue covered global and regional security, co-operation on organised crime as well as counter terrorism and defence. It reflected the continued co-operation between the UK and Viet Nam and built upon the success of the first dialogue held in London in October last year.
On global and regional security, Browne noted the important and growing role that ASEAN and ASEAN-led regional mechanisms had to play and welcomed the designation of Deputy Foreign Minister Le Luong Minh as ASEAN Secretary General for 2013.
The two sides discussed recent developments in Myanmar and the Korean peninsula as well as the situation in the East Sea. They expressed their concerns over the recent tensions in the East Sea and acknowledged that the maintenance of peace, stability, maritime safety and freedom in the area is in the common interests of the international community.
They underlined their shared stance that territorial disputes in the East Sea should be resolved peacefully, in line with international law, as reflected in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The two sides reaffirmed the importance of the 2002 ASEAN – China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and welcomed the continued progress towards a Code of Conduct to create a rules-based framework for managing and regulating the conduct of parties in the region, including handling disputes and preventing conflicts. They also exchanged understandings on broader geopolitical dynamics of economic power and security as well as current issues of global concern, including Syria. — VNS